Joanne Eccles (born 16 February 1989) is a British equestrian who competes in the discipline of vaulting. She won the gold medals in the women's individual events at both the 2009 European Championship and the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games. Her sister Hannah also represents Great Britain in vaulting.
Vaulting Career Edit
Eccles first began vaulting at the age of eight. Her neighbours were vaulters and invited her to "come and try". At the time she owned one pony which she shared with her brother and sister, and regularly competed in Highland dancing, but once she began vaulting, she pursued it as her main passion. She vaulted with that club for one year and was then invited to join the Scottish Equestrian Vaulting team. Vaulting as a reserve for most of the year, Eccles traveled with the team to the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Rome in 1998. In 1999, she became a team flyer and was part of the official team chosen to represent Great Britain at the European Championships. As she became older she also became a "prop" or "base", but remained part of the team. As part of the Scottish Equestrian Vaulting Team, she represented Great Britain every year up to and including 2007 (excl. 2001 due to foot and mouth). They placed 4th at the European Championships in 2005, and 5th at WEG in 2006.
During her team career Eccles was also competing in Individual events, and in 2004 was selected as one of the Individual females to represent Great Britain. It was her first individual championships and she placed 19th as the youngest in her class. She was again selected for the next three years, placing 13th in Europe in 2005; 10th at WEG in 2006; and 4th in Europe in 2007. After 2007, Joanne was faced with the choice of pursuing either individual or team events, as she was too old to compete in both. She eventually decided to continue in individual events, and came 5th at the World Championships that year. In 2008 she was invited to the Masters in Leipzig, which she won, and placed second in Saumar at Easter. At the CVI */** in Ermelo, Eccles won the Senior class – a first for Great Britain. She then came 5th at the World Championships, granting her the British Female Individual Champion title. She also won many titles in pairs (pas de deux) with her sister Hannah Eccles.
Joanne won the World Equestrian games in Kentucky in 2010. She retained her title at the World Equestrian Games in Caen in 2014.
Joanne Eccles takes the Gold Medal at the World Championships 2012 vaulting on WH.Bentley lunged by John Eccles